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Comfort Cravings: a Healthier Vegan Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is an American standby. It's full of flavor, rich and satisfying, and loved by almost everyone. The problem is that most good recipes overload themselves on dairy and saturated fat — namely in the way of cheese, butter, and cream. Years ago, I was introduced to vegan mac and cheese. Taking my first bite, I was dubious, but I'm forever a convert.

After a lot of experimenting, I've settled on a recipe that's now become a tradition in my home. In this version, cheese is replaced with nutritional yeast, butter with Smart Balance spread, and cream with veggie broth. And while it's not exactly like the mac and cheese you'll remember as a child, it's just as good — maybe even better.

Learn how to make this no-cholesterol mac and cheese after the break!

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese


4 tablespoons Smart Balance Light spread
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup flour
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 pound cooked macaroni pasta

For the topping:
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Light spread
1 cup breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium size dutch oven, over low-medium heat, melt the Smart Balance Light spread, then slowly incorporate flour and vegetable broth; whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir in soy sauce, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper.
  4. Add nutritional yeast and mix until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  5. Add cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir until all pasta is coated evenly. (If you prefer the mac and cheese to be creamier, forgo baking it and serve at this stage.)
  6. Optional: transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish.
  7. To make the topping, melt the Smart Balance Light spread and toss in the breadcrumbs until coated. Top macaroni mixture with the breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for five minutes before serving.

Makes 8 entree-size servings.

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Annie-Gabillet Annie-Gabillet 5 years
We need a new name! The oxymoron Vegan Mac n Cheese is making my head hurt!
mtn-girl mtn-girl 6 years
This was really good - i used Bragg's liquid amino acids instead of soy sauce (which I always do) -so that cut down on the sodium. I also made half of the recipe quantity and used it as a side dish - very tasty and very easy.
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
Similar recipe:
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
I've made 2 different vegan mac and cheese recipes, both were so-so. Some friends online (vegetarian community) have a recipe made with raw cashews, it looks fabulous. I don't like nutritional yeast much, so I'll probably pass on this one :) This is similar to the Vegetarian Times recipe.
Retro 23, thanks so much! That's too many calories though. Oh well, it was good :), won't be making it again though
Retro23 Retro23 6 years
Per serving 16g Fat 4g Saturated fat 954mg Sodium 89g Carbs 11g Fibre 4g Sugar 28g Protein
Retro23 Retro23 6 years
I plugged the recipe into CalorieCount and had it analzed...3600 calories in the entire recipe, so divided by 6 portions it comes to 600 calories per serving.
superfoxml superfoxml 6 years
nutritional yeast is so goooooood....mmmmm...
I tried it as well and I loved it, thanks Fit
LisaLou05 LisaLou05 6 years
I tried this recipe last night and it was great! I've been a vegan for over a year now, and have tried about 3 mac and cheese recipes- this has been the best one so far. Thanks!
Do you have the nutritional stats on this?
Spectra Spectra 6 years
It sounds interesting. I've also never really heard of nutritional yeast, but I'd try it at least once, I suppose.
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 6 years
I'm curious about this nutritional yeast product. I've never heard of it.
shannonriver shannonriver 6 years
I'm in the minority of vegans who do NOT love nutritional yeast. It has its place, but it tastes nothing like cheese. Neither do most vegan cheeses, for that matter. I LOVE Earth Balance, though.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 6 years
Also... I've made the "Skinny Bitch" mac n cheese... not good.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 6 years
There's a vegetarian restaurant in Asheville, NC called Rosetta's that has the best vegan mac 'n cheese. I love the stuff but it makes me feel blah because of the sodium content. I indulge once or twice a year.
I saw a recipe for this last week and I was just thinking about trying it.
lemuse20 lemuse20 6 years
I'm not vegan - I'm not even vegetarian either, but I do like nutritional yeast! I will be adding this to my recipe que :D
chelseyeslehc chelseyeslehc 6 years
I've been transitioning into a vegan diet for a while now, and this recipe might make it a bit easier. I always loved mac&cheese. I will definitely be trying this this week. Thanks!
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